Govt backs emerging Kiwi researchers

  • Steven Joyce
Science and Innovation

Science and Innovation Minister Steven Joyce has today announced the results of a review into the Rutherford Discovery Fellowships.

Following feedback from the sector, changes have been made which will help ensure young researchers are supported in establishing their careers in New Zealand.

A review of the scheme was undertaken last year seeking the views and insights from New Zealand’s science community.

“The changes to the scheme are designed to better focus the fellowships on supporting New Zealand’s most talented early to mid-career researchers at a crucial time in their careers,” Mr Joyce says.

The changes include:

• Focussing the award process on selecting excellent researchers who have leadership potential

• A priority on the repatriation of talented New Zealanders

• Reducing the application period to 3-8 years after receiving the PhD (previously 3-10 years)

• Allowing a broad range of leadership qualities to be supported by removing the distinction between Tier 1 (leadership potential) and Tier 2 (demonstrated leadership) researchers

• Changing the expectation that Fellows receive permanent employment from their associated institution, to an expectation that they be contracted for employment over the full term of the fellowship

“One of our priorities is to develop New Zealand’s skill base for innovation. MSI will do further work with the Ministry of Education and the Tertiary Education Commission to ensure post doctoral researchers within NZ have sufficient opportunity to stay in the country and contribute to the New Zealand economy and society,” Mr Joyce says.